Regional vision: Thai Optical Group welcomes partnerships with Southeast Asian lens manufacturers
Innovator of polymer and bioplastic opthalmic lenses now seeks partners in the Philippines and Myanmar
Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports www.discoveryreports.com
The future of Thai Optical Group (TOG) looks as exciting as its past. A post-war, start-up family company that makes eyeglass lenses from scrap bottles, TOG has grown to supply the world with cutting-edge ophthalmic lenses. Behind this success is the company’s breakthrough technologies developed in-house.
“We have learned the craft by ourselves,” says Torn Pracharktam, managing director. “In fact, family members were obliged by the company to take academic courses that would help strengthen a particular segment of TOG’s business.”
For his part, Torn studied chemical engineering in the United States. Such academic training later on helped him in developing polymer lenses that are lighter and more durable than those made of glass. Afterwards, Torn studied industrial engineering to aid in strengthening the company’s factory management.
The result of this dedication to innovation is a complete line of lenses incorporating the latest technologies. In June, TOG launched a fresh line of lenses made of bioplastics, a new type of polymer manufactured from renewable resources.
Made from as much as 82 per cent organic materials instead of petroleum, the cutting-edge material can reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. Bioplastics can also last as long as regular plastic lenses, but are exceptionally thin. This characteristic makes the polymer ideal for people with severe eye problems who would otherwise need thick glasses.
To be able to respond quickly to market demands, TOG wishes to replicate the success of its manufacturing joint ventures in Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. The company is particularly interested in exploring other Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines and Myanmar.
“We’re excited to work with local manufacturers who are honest and share our mindset of being a service company first and foremost,” Torn says. “We are always looking for solutions to make life better for our customers.”
Thai Optical Group